Metallica’s mark on metal in both the mainstream and underground still continues to grow as every riff, drum fill,solo etc has been plagiarized. As Metallica progressed towards much tamer territories, the band did the opposite of what common sense dictated at the time. Instead of reneging their previous records, they embraced them and relished their mainstream status as kings of “The Big 4”. This allowed them to exist in a bizarre duality alternating between mainstream Radio Rock and furious Heavy metal depending on the fan. Through this duality many bands have taken from both periods to create a curious mix that resonates with with a wider audience. Demonpalm fall into this category but their music carries potential for something better in some of the brief glimpses shown here.
Later James Hetfield vocals meet Rock drums in short verse/chorus based around simple Speed metal riffs that show a lot of their Heavy metal roots. Some very obvious Iron Maiden influences creep in with an overall aesthetic bent towards the Black album. The singing is even off at times in the same way as Hetfield’s vocals tend to be off. When the band allow their Heavy metal influences to shine through, good results are produced but Demonpalm have the habit of falling back into the aforementioned tropes. Minor scale ascents are well used with the staccato rhythms that avoid the pitfall of being seduced by the rhythmic nature of the music into making “headbanging” music. The chorus to “Bloodline” shows progression as Mercyful Fate utilized very similar chord progressions on Melissa. Due to the simplistic arrangements of these songs, the band can never really expand into those ideas and there presence is not felt enough. Demonpalm take forays with pentatonic scales that far too often bring them to Metallica territory but sometimes under the solos, the band opts for certain ideas that Judas Priest were exploiting on songs like “Tyrant”.
While this demo is a fun listen on rare occasions with friends who are entering metal, the ability to make good metal is present if the band ever decide to remove themselves from their greatest obsession and to embrace the notions that they have only flirted with. A decent start but hopefully the foreshadow for much better things to come.